November in Montreal: A Winter's Tale (well, almost)

Ohhhh the weather outside is frightful…

Well it’s not that frightful, but it’s early November and this is about as cold (5-degrees) and wet as it got in Vancouver the depths of winter. Soon the rain will turn in to snow, the temperature will drop another 20-degrees, and I’ll be the coldest I’ve ever been in my life.


Bring it on.

Rainy weather aside, November in Montreal seems to mean that the number of squirrels visible to humans has depleted, the trees start to look all twig-like and leafless, my new favourite month of the year (October) has come to an end, and the let’s-do-copious-amounts-of-road-construction season is finally wrapping up.

There’s an ongoing joke here that Montreal has two seasons – winter, and construction season. Since I’ve been here, I’ve dodged and walked through more construction sites than I have in my entire life to this point, because if you don’t walk through some of them, you can’t get past. Goodbye sidewalk, hello navigating over chunks of bitumen and gravel for months at a time. My friend (a Montrealer of two-years) told me a road was being tarred during construction season, but there was a parked car in the way, so they tarred around the car. She said it was the most Montreal thing she’d ever seen.

I’m yet to see anything like that, but I guess there’s still time?

In the meantime, I’m trying to prepare myself for the impending weather by spending a lot of time looking at (but not buying) cold weather gear, and chickening out at the last second because the thought of spending $300+ on winterized gear hurts my soul, even though the only shoes I currently have are *giant* platform heels with approximately zero traction. 

But it’s hard to know what to buy when you’ve never experienced extreme conditions before. How lined is too lined, or not lined enough? Is synthetic lining as warm as down? How thick does the padding have to be in your boots? Does everyone look like a marshmallow in their coat like I do? Why are winterized coats so expensive in a country that is literally freezing most of the time? Can I suggest a government-issued ‘coat-allowance’ for each member of the population every five-ish years, or is that weird…?

All that aside, the big question is: why can’t I find winter boots with a platform that don’t cost more than $1,000 and look like this?

Louis Vitton Winter Boots
hunter winter boots.jpg

Wouldn’t the extra sole provide more space for traction grooves? Is there not even a slight demand for this kind of thing? As an Australian I clearly know nothing about boots, traction, or winter, but I don’t think the logic is too far-fetched… Tell me I’m wrong! I can handle it.

Watch this space for an idea of how to get your mittens on affordable winterized gear in Canada (you’ll know when I know!), but until then, may your days be warm and your feet be dry.

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